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Melissa M

"Why Aren't American Teenagers Working Anymore?" (article)

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Most places where teenagers used to work now won't hire anyone who isn't 18+ and with a high school diploma or G.E.D. Lifeguarding and library page are still options, but those require volunteering unpaid first and only some of the volunteers will wind up getting hired for the paid positions.

 

My 14 y.o. has been hunting for a paid job for a while since she won't turn 15 (minimum age for sr lifeguard training) until after our town pool closes for the season. Nobody wants to hire minors these days because there are so many adults willing to take minimum wage jobs.

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I think there are two big reasons that teens aren't working.

 

The first is that I think a lot of parents aren't allowing their kids to work.  And I think those parents have a variety of reasons.  From "kids should have time to be kids" to "I want you taking a summer school class " (the reason mentioned in the article) to "my kid's job is school" (which is a combo of both.)  I don't think it's because kids themselves are inherently lazy.  Or rather....I think kids have ALWAYS been lazy to a point.  There have always been self starter kids who go mow lawns or babysit or walk dogs, and there have always been kids who had to be FORCED to get their McDonalds job.  And I think there have always been a whole lot of kids in between.  I think that in the past, parents have been more hard line about kids getting a job.  Also for a variety of reasons, from needing the money to wanting to teach responsibility to just wanting their kids out of the house, and a bunch of other reasons.

 

 

The other thing though is that....I am finding a lot of signs out that say "now hiring.....over 18 only"  Not like factory jobs that require an ability to work a variety of shifts, or positions that might some skills, but the typical summer fast food and cashier type jobs.  I just past a sign that said exactly that, just last week, outside a KFC.  Not "now hiring management" (which would make more sense for over 18) but just "now hiring....over 18 only."  I saw several last year too.  And, my oldest works at a big box home improvement store.  She's a cashier, she doesn't leave her register, so her job requires no knowledge of anything like how to plant a garden or how to fix a sink.  Now, there are positions in the store that require those things, but positions like DD does do not.  And yet, her company just instituted a policy of not hiring anyone younger than 18.  Walmarts, McDonalds, Krogers, etc...so many are instituting similar policies. 

 

 

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Most places simply won't hire teens.  Places that used to hire teens won't anymore.

 

My kids are lucky.  They are in good paying jobs at taekwondo (Ani as a program director, Cameron as an instructor).  They were both hired at 15.  But of course they had been taking taekwondo there and were well known and had spent a lot of time volunteering before getting hired.  Ani tried to get a job elsewhere before getting hired with no luck.  Another teen working at taekwondo had the same experience.  They'd apply and the company wouldn't even respond.

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All of those factors are probably relevant.

 

Opportunity is a huge factor in my area. Like others said, many places won't even let you apply until 18, and then you are competing with people who have work experience. Compare that to my experience, when the local fast food joint (where my siblings worked) starting hounding me to apply the minute I turned 15, lol. Also, they played pretty fast and loose with the labor laws in a way they probably wouldn't risk today. 

 

I definitely think the school aspect comes into play as well.  My siblings worked so many hours in high school, it was insane. They made enough to buy used cars and pay their insurance, they pretty much paid all of their own expenses. But they definitely weren't doing too much school work! They did the half-day school/work thing for at least senior year, and either way just prioritized work over school. 

 

I was dead set on college, so I carried a full school schedule and worked fewer hours - but still way too many, imo. It's hard getting homework done when you are at school all day, home for a quick break, and then off to work. My friend group drifted away from me, because school and work didn't leave much free time and they got used to doing things without me. I did get to college and I did get a better education even in high school, but my sibs got their revenge by consistently out earning me, lol. 

 

When my kids hit their teens, I definitely had the feeling of wanting them to have time for their education, and less stress about money and working. We weren't opposed to them working, but they were ill-suited to babysitting or lifeguarding, and other jobs were hard to find, so it worked out that they haven't had outside jobs yet. We had a landscaping job for several years, so they have the experience of working hard, but not with other people or other bosses.

 

The benefits? They did have more time for school, and definitely went above the level dh and I did in high school. Oldest dd got an amazing scholarship that definitely 'paid' more than a part-time job would have. Youngest dd will get a lesser, but still excellent scholarship that will also pay off more than a part-time job would have. We greatly enjoyed the extra family time. 

 

The cons? Mainly that they haven't had a real job yet! I do think that working has great benefits that aren't duplicated elsewhere. Oldest just finished her first year of college, and is hoping to find something on campus this fall. Youngest will probably be the same. We have emphasized that you definitely want to get some work experience in college. 

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In the small town where we used to live, most jobs were found by word of mouth. As homeschoolers who didn't attend church, we were outside the loop of two of the biggest social circles in town, church and school. 

 

This summer ds is doing paid research through the university. He filled one of the four available positions, which he found out about the position through his professor, again by knowing the right person. 

 

My summer job is on campus, and although I'm not a teen, I was hired mostly because I had a class with one of the people doing the hiring. If I had interviewed without having that connection, I doubt I would have be offered the position. 

 

Several students I know travel during the summer mostly through study abroad. It's harder to find a job that is willing to work with your schedule if you're going to be gone 3-4 weeks in the summer. 

 

The people I know with consistent summer work have the same job they either work part time during the school year or return every summer. 

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Maybe our town was/is unusual.  Most of the teens I know work part-time in the summer.  (Then full time in the summer once in college.)  My kids all got summer jobs pretty easily as teens, and almost all of their friends worked as teens too.   (I'm talking 15/16 and up.)

 

The handful of kids I knew who didn't work as teens didn't work because their parents decided they wouldn't have time.  

 

 

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Another factor might be the application process. When DS was job hunting last summer, MOST places required an online application plus some required a resume submitted with the application - for fast food places like Taco Time. He felt terrible, because what 16 year old has enough to fill a resume?

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We are finding the "only 18 and high school graduate or GED' applicants considered.  There are very few jobs for anyone under 18.  Plus, these days, there is little flexibility.  You get your schedule for the next week on Friday.  Good luck finding subs for those shifts you can't work because of a class that they knew about but scheduled you anyway.  Basically, the expectation is that you keep your entire week open for about 15 hours of work at a minimum wage job.  You can't have other plans ... like an orthodontist appointment or family vacation or even any other activities.  Dd has been babysitting, but she will need to expand her base of clients if she is to get any hours this summer.  She has all but given up on getting a job with this job environment and her other commitments. 

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Teen jobs seem pretty easy to get here. The CC had a lot of part time jobs and many teens work retail, fast food, and similar. The city is developing a teen job program particularly for inner city youth. In fact, they weren't able to fill all of the jobs they had openings for. Who you know definitely helps but pretty much any teen I know who wants a job can have one as long as they are not too particular about what they are doing.

 

DD17 had a part-time job at the CC all last year and now is juggling two part-time jobs paying over minimum wage this summer.

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Kids in our area get jobs on base (bagging groceries, cashiering, etc), babysitting, and working with youth programs. I expect to put DD to work that way when the time comes.

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This year definitely seems better--we've seen a lot more places advertising that they're looking to hire around here. I never wanted my kids working during high school--we did shorter summers (usually about 6 weeks), and wanted to squeeze in time visiting family during part of that time--so it just wasn't conducive to our homeschooling for them to have regular jobs. DS did things like house/pet sitting when available, and DD did babysitting (sometimes had regular jobs for classes). 

 

 

Another factor might be the application process. When DS was job hunting last summer, MOST places required an online application plus some required a resume submitted with the application - for fast food places like Taco Time. He felt terrible, because what 16 year old has enough to fill a resume?

 

It is an intimidating process, but if you google sample first-time resume, you can find things that they can list on there. The companies really aren't expecting a lot from first-timers anyway, but doing that gave us ideas on what to put on my DS's first-time resume this year. 

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Fast food and sometimes grocery still hire teens here.  Plus, babysitting.

 

However, a lot of teens just don't seem as interested in working.  JObs that teens used to do, like snow removal,or lawn mowing they don't seem interested in. 

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The part about employers not hiring teens completely depends on where you live.

 

I live in an affluent area where all the normal teen employers hire teens; some are desparate for employees. Everywhere has now hiring signs. It is common to see signs that say interviewing x date from a to b; hiring on the spot. That has been my teens experience.

 

Oldest started working at 15, working very limited hours coaching for a local recreation center. She had a teammate that did this the year before she was hired, so when she saw an email about it she applied. There may have been a phone interview, but there was definitely nothing formal. She worked that job for the rest of high school. The summer she was 16, she began lifeguarding in the summer. (She had classmates that started at 15.) She interviewed with one company and was hired on the spot. She cancelled her interview with another lifeguard staffing company. She lifeguarded until going to college.

 

Her senior year, she decided she also wanted a job during the schoolyear. She went around one Saturday. She applied at a grocery store, a cupcake store, a restaurant, and a pizza place. At the grocery store, she filled out an applicaion on a computer in the store. The person at the cupcake store assured her she was too nice to work there and told her to go to a restaurant down the street. (We never figured out what he meant.) I don't remember what happened at the restaurant, but I think they sent her to the pizza place. The pizza place talked to her and seemed interested. The manager called a couple days later and offered her the job. The next week, the grocery store called to set up an interview and she told them she already had a job. After that she said, "They were too slow; they waited eight days to call. Of course, I had a job." I told her, at the time, she had been lucky so far and that her experience was unusual. However, she continued that same "luck" through college and now post-graduation. She worked every summer of college in a job/internship related to her major; she worked a major-related research job on campus her sophomore and junior years, she had a post-graduation job lined up before she started her senior year. (She also tutored and babysat during high school.)

 

My next one decided his freshman year of high school that he wanted to work at scout camp in the summer. He applied via mail for two camps and was interviewed and hired by both during his interview. He accepted one offer. He worked there for four summers. During his senior year, he decided he wanted a job. He went to a local shopping center and applied at a fast food restaurant and at the same grocery store where oldest applied. The fast food restaurant asked him to come back that afternoon and hired him that day. He did not stay there long as the mangers scheduled him tons of hours. He loves to work with computers, so he decided to apply at some computer places. One place hired him when he applied in person and put him to work that day. He just finished his freshman year of college and he is working a job related to his major. He turned down another major-related job as well as at the camp where he worked the other summers.

 

The next one applied for a job at a popular fast-food restaurant at 15. He was called for an interview a few months later, and he was hired during the interview. He loves his job and was given a promotion after 10 months. The workers are allowed to tell what days and times they want to work; and the managers are great about honoring requests. (He learned to get specific with his requests as he was scheduled to close too many nights a week when he first started; his schoolwork suffered.) His 15/16-year-old friends work as lifeguards and at movie theaters, grocery stores, scout camps, or fastfood restaurants with good reputations.

 

 

I believe another reason that teens don't work (or during the schoolyear) is that many sports are year round now and school sports, specifically, are everyday. Some employers will work around that kind of schedule, but not all.

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I am rural, so jobs require ability to drive in to town. Convenience mart wants over 21s bc of liquor sales, but they do hire 1 or 2 18+s...must be mature as that will be a shift where there will be drug user issues. Grocery has an arrangement with public school..if you aren't in that program, you don't get hired until you are 18. Fast food is seniors. Construction is relatives or day laborers. Teens do better here selling on craigslist, or learning a trade and running their own business if they aren't doing summer camp. Usually that's lawn care or paving stones. Gals tend to work for caterers. Lifeguards...if you can guard during the year at the lowest paying place in town, you can get a summer job at 18. Of course you aren't making any profit after you pay gas to drive in for a three hour shift, and you can't do.varsity Saturday events.

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Another factor might be the application process. When DS was job hunting last summer, MOST places required an online application plus some required a resume submitted with the application - for fast food places like Taco Time. He felt terrible, because what 16 year old has enough to fill a resume?

This! It is crazy what is required to apply for a part time job. My 17 yo now has a resume linked on indeed.com because it was necessary for his job search. One fast food place required a resume plus a cover letter. Additionally, he had several online applications that required those personality profile questions. Hundreds of questions on some applications. Now, a motivated teen can certainly accomplish putting together a fast food resume and filling out online forms but it is a barrier to employment. It is so much harder than walking in and filling out a short application and handing it to a manager. My ds was pretty motivated but it still took some encouragement. I would offer to sit with him while he did it and help if he had questions. Sometimes a kid just doesn't know what to do with certain questions and having an adult nearby helps get it done.

 

Our county has low unemployment (like one of the lowest in the entire country). Every fast food and retail place has signs that they are hiring. My 17 yo ds applied to about 30 places when he turned 16 before he got even a call. He worked that job for a year and now this summer he started the application process again because he wanted to make a change. Even with a year of good job experience he applied to about ten before getting a call. He got a job as a server (which kind of stresses me out for him but that is a whole different thread). A neighbor called a manager at the place and ds is unsure if that prompted the interview or not. It is somewhat baffling to see all the places that claim to be hiring but don't seem to want to hire. ??

 

Now, my older ds has gotten every job he has applied for and the process has been smooth.The difference is that he was 18 and applying for full time work. He could pass a drug test and that seemed to be the only factor for him. He is in his second summer working. Both jobs were in distribution warehouses and he got hired on immediately upon passing a drug test. He is making really good money.

 

I agree that kids are busy with academic and extracurricular pursuits. That is why my oldest didn't work until he was 18 and a graduate. I think jobs are great for kids. Mine have learned and grown so much. It does seem hard to get one though. I don't know that mine would have without parental help in terms of encouragement and support. So, it goes back to the parents being too involved vs. providing scaffolding thing.

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Another factor might be the application process. When DS was job hunting last summer, MOST places required an online application plus some required a resume submitted with the application - for fast food places like Taco Time. He felt terrible, because what 16 year old has enough to fill a resume?

 

At both the public school where my kid went, and the private school where I teach, kids make resumes each year at school.  They aren't "full" and are padded with things like "Track and Field Team", but they all have them.  

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In my area, the jobs that I would have worked when I was a teen, gas station, fast food, convenience stores, are held by adults who work 2 full-time shifts. it seems they even sometimes work 3 shifts.  The same employees are there no matter what time I go.  That is why there is little teen employment in my area.

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I read that article this morning. Companies are advertising that they are hiring, but few places will hire under 18 yo and nearly all want unlimited availability for even the smallest amount of hours. Teens that have jobs usually know people or do combinations of odd jobs, babysitting, etc. Lifeguarding here is a "be available when we need you" sort of job. Few places seem to want to manage and supervise part-time teens, especially if you can find adults to take full time work.

Our swim coach says that swimming is a job (and he is pretty right...) and that if you work hard and go to all the practices, it can pay off handsomely. Certainly a female swimmer at even a slower level can make more in scholarship money that cutting practice for minimum wage work. 

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Maybe our town was/is unusual.  Most of the teens I know work part-time in the summer.  (Then full time in the summer once in college.)  My kids all got summer jobs pretty easily as teens, and almost all of their friends worked as teens too.   (I'm talking 15/16 and up.)

 

The handful of kids I knew who didn't work as teens didn't work because their parents decided they wouldn't have time.  

 

This topic clicked off my "Learn Something New Every Day" box too.  Getting a job around here certainly isn't a problem and many teens have them.  We had to coerce our older two to be happy just working for dad as needed (kept our schedule free for travel).  Youngest insisted on getting a job (akin to his peers) when he turned 16 since he was in ps.  He happily worked at Chick Fil A.

 

My kids started working at their colleges right away too.  They haven't been without jobs of some sort - not for long anyway.

 

Generally the only kids I know without jobs are either very into sports and that takes their time or they don't have transportation options and live too far away to bike or walk.

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Another factor might be the application process. When DS was job hunting last summer, MOST places required an online application plus some required a resume submitted with the application - for fast food places like Taco Time. He felt terrible, because what 16 year old has enough to fill a resume?

 

We could come up with enough stuff (volunteer work, honors, etc.) to fill a resume IF employers would consider hiring a minor.

 

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I recently asked some place here that had a sign saying they were only hiring 18+, and the answer was something along the lines of NYS law doesn't allow minors to work after 6pm or something like that. So, here it's state law being idiotic. IIRC, when I was a teen in NL, I wasn't allowed to work after 10pm or something like that... late enough to work the evening rush at some places (not that I did, but I did work as a telemarketer for a bit in the evenings (which paid a lot more than youth minimum wage)). 

Edited by luuknam
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We could come up with enough stuff (volunteer work, honors, etc.) to fill a resume IF employers would consider hiring a minor.

 

Or if the neighbors would hire for anything....lawn care, snow removal, interior painting, auto detailing....teens with good references can't get these jobs these days, too many adults in the biz.

 

My sons were bettee off at college, the U hires part- tmers under 18.

Edited by Heigh Ho
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I recently asked some place here that had a sign saying they were only hiring 18+, and the answer was something along the lines of NYS law doesn't allow minors to work after 6pm or something like that. So, here it's state law being idiotic. IIRC, when I was a teen in NL, I wasn't allowed to work after 10pm or something like that... late enough to work the evening rush at some places (not that I did, but I did work as a telemarketer for a bit in the evenings (which paid a lot more than youth minimum wage)).

14s and 15s can work 7 am to 9 pm when school is not in session in NY.16s and 17s can work 6 am to midnight.

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14s and 15s can work 7 am to 9 pm when school is not in session in NY.16s and 17s can work 6 am to midnight.

 

 

Maybe they meant local law? I don't know. Or maybe they were talking out of their you-know-what then. This was probably in March or something, so not summer job time. 

Edited by luuknam

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Here there is also the issue of the time school gets out.  High school releases between 4:05 and 4:15 depending on the school.  This means a kid can't get to work during the school year until at least 4:30 if not 5.  That might contribute to employers preferring not to hire teens in high school.

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One datapoint, I noticed that Six Flags over Texas has mostly adults working there.  My understanding is that they aren't hiring many teenagers anymore.  When I was a teen, between Six Flags and the Rangers ballpark, there were more teenager-level jobs than teenagers to work them.  I remember being shocked when I was job interviewing after college and being bright-eyed, neatly dressed and saying I was willing to work didn't get an immediate job offer.   

 

In my current area, not near Six Flags, I've noticed how extremely polite and great employees the teenagers are.  DH pointed out that there aren't many teenager jobs near us, so they get the cream of the crop.  

 

I'd never worked in a Grocery Store, but I'd had several friends that did.   They liked teenagers because they could work evenings when the adults didn't want to work.  The teenagers would do most of the grunt work in the evenings.  I wonder if that is still true?  

 

I think that working as a teen was good for me.  It didn't impact my study time, but it did limit my Hang Out time, which can get teens in trouble.  It also gave me an additional social circle, which made the High school social silliness less important and easier to navigate.  

 

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DH had a very qualified 17 year old apply for a position that he was hiring for but he couldn't hire him.  The legalities now of hiring under 18 are ridiculous.  So many rules and regulations.  He jokingly said "if I plan to bubble wrap him and stick him in a corner then I can hire him".  I don't think these existed when we were teens.

Edited by Attolia
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One datapoint, I noticed that Six Flags over Texas has mostly adults working there.  My understanding is that they aren't hiring many teenagers anymore.  When I was a teen, between Six Flags and the Rangers ballpark, there were more teenager-level jobs than teenagers to work them.  I remember being shocked when I was job interviewing after college and being bright-eyed, neatly dressed and saying I was willing to work didn't get an immediate job offer.   

 

In my current area, not near Six Flags, I've noticed how extremely polite and great employees the teenagers are.  DH pointed out that there aren't many teenager jobs near us, so they get the cream of the crop.  

 

I'd never worked in a Grocery Store, but I'd had several friends that did.   They liked teenagers because they could work evenings when the adults didn't want to work.  The teenagers would do most of the grunt work in the evenings.  I wonder if that is still true?  

 

I think that working as a teen was good for me.  It didn't impact my study time, but it did limit my Hang Out time, which can get teens in trouble.  It also gave me an additional social circle, which made the High school social silliness less important and easier to navigate.  

 

In my town, seems like the grocery store is the only one who hires 15-17 yos.  Dd didn't want to work at the grocery store (she applied, but never got a call back - also think there's a lot of competition, as they're one of the only ones hiring younger teens.

 

She got a job at a Bagel place (1/2 hour away) but they were recruiting at her CC, and didn't realize she was only 15.  But they hired her anyway.  Then last summer she worked at, yes, an amusement park.  Also 1/2 hour away.  But ours does hire 15yos. (it's not Six Flags - we have a Six Flags, but that's an hour and a half away!  No idea who they hire).

 

This summer she's looking again.  So.many.places. won't hire under 18 - she's 16 now.  She's applied at two B&Ns (they haven't said only over 18), but no call back yet.  Today she just walked into a day care center because they had a "We're Hiring" sign.  Don't know how it will pan out yet, but they gave her a great walk-in interview and said while they don't usually hire high school students, she seemed 'mature' and I'm guessing they liked that she went to the CC and will have two weekdays free in the fall... be interesting to see if anything comes of any of this...

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On a related note, I read in the Chicago Tribune today that there are almost 90,000 teens and young adults (ages 16-24) in Cook County who do not work or go to school.  :ohmy:

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Only 15% of teens looking for work can't find work. So 43% of teens are working, 7% are looking unsuccessfully, and 50% are not seeking employment. I'd guess that it's mostly the increasing demands of school and college application readiness. If you waste your chance to go to a good college so that you can make $5000 over the summer, that's financially stupid. But I'm pretty sure that immaturity, laziness and entitlement also play a part. Not all teens are busy and productive most of their days!

 

 

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DH had a very qualified 17 year old apply for a position that he was hiring for but he couldn't hire him.  The legalities now of hiring under 18 are ridiculous.  So many rules and regulations.  He jokingly said "if I plan to bubble wrap him and stick him in a corner then I can hire him".  I don't think these existed when we were teens.

 

Some of them did for sure, but employers were definitely less diligent back then, ime. 

 

Only 15% of teens looking for work can't find work. So 43% of teens are working, 7% are looking unsuccessfully, and 50% are not seeking employment. I'd guess that it's mostly the increasing demands of school and college application readiness. If you waste your chance to go to a good college so that you can make $5000 over the summer, that's financially stupid. But I'm pretty sure that immaturity, laziness and entitlement also play a part. Not all teens are busy and productive most of their days!

 

 

 

How is this data obtained and defined? If it's something like "actively looking and have applied to at least 5 places in the last whatever" then it's probably not that accurate. Lots of teens don't apply because they know the places they can get to are 18+. I'm sure there are quite a few who aren't looking because they don't actually want a job, or their parents don't want them to have a job, but I'm not convinced it's 50%. 

 

And the word "teens" limited to those who are actually old enough to work? As in get a work permit? Because 13/14 is going to skew that if not. 

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Except for corn detassling, lawn mowing, and babysitting there is very little that high schoolers can get here. Most employers want a minimum high school diploma - the locals do not accept GED pretty much across the board - and since we had such high unemployment for so long (this area of Mid Michigan in 2009 saw figures of 22-24%), many jobs that used to be filled by teens and college students have been filled by people with many years of work experience, trade licenses, associate's and even bachelor's degrees.

 

Then there is a long list of 16 and 17 year olds taking summer coursework at the CC because it discounts summer tuition in order to keep more students on campus year round. The DE discount coupled with the summer price reduction means it is far more cost effective to parents to have their kids take coursework that can count towards a degree or professional license, than to take very part time, minimum wage jobs whose income has to be declared come FAFSA time. For those especially seeking to not cross the threshold between getting some need based aid to no need based aid, reduced household income is the better choice, and especially first their student can take advantage of the super cheap summer rates at the CC.

 

I do not think the statistics in the article represent a significant piece of the picture. Too many variables unaccounted for, and so what if 50% are not seeking employment. There can be a gazillion very legitimate reasons for that. Helping on the family farm, caring for younger siblings so mom and dad aren't paying for summer daycare, unpaid internships - my niece had one helping an undergraduate research team. It is a really neat program that gives high schoolers a chance to see what environmental studies and research is all about. No pay. Totally worth it for the experience.

 

Interlochen and Blue Lakes Fine Arts camps, the DNR volunteer in the state parks program, 4H livestock shows, Eagle Scout projects...tons of opportunities for young people that are every bit as legitimate as getting paid work.

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Aaaand today on Morning Joe, McDonalds is seeking to hire tons of teens this summer. They've even launched a "snaplication" so teens can apply via snapchat. McDonald's Taps Snapchat to Recruit New Employees - Fortune

 

Our local McDonald's franchises require 18+ and high school diploma or GED. Too many adults willing to take minimum wage jobs for the teens to be able to compete.

 

With these big franchises, just because corporate says one thing does NOT mean the local franchise owners have to follow along.

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Our local McDonald's franchises require 18+ and high school diploma or GED. Too many adults willing to take minimum wage jobs for the teens to be able to compete.

 

With these big franchises, just because corporate says one thing does NOT mean the local franchise owners have to follow along.

 

The article is focused on Australia (AU).

Edited by Sneezyone

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Last year we were living in Evanston, which is Northwestern's college town. I was in a store with my daughters when the owner struck up a conversation with me about how difficult it was to keep a full staff. Apparently Northwestern discourages students from working outside of classes, so college students aren't the obvious pool of workers I imagined they were. Suddenly she brightened up, "How old are you?" she asked my 17yo. Sarah said she'd been looking for a job for a month but no one seems to want to hire her until 18. The owner was disappointed--she didn't hire until 18 either. That was a facepalm moment.

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DH had a very qualified 17 year old apply for a position that he was hiring for but he couldn't hire him. The legalities now of hiring under 18 are ridiculous. So many rules and regulations. He jokingly said "if I plan to bubble wrap him and stick him in a corner then I can hire him". I don't think these existed when we were teens.

:lol:

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I tell my kids to walk in and ask to speak with the hiring manager. Oftentimes, they're rebuffed and told to apply online, which they do and then never hear back. Online apps have been nothing but a black hole. One of my kids got a job because the hiring manager happened to be working the desk at the restaurant that afternoon and liked her poise and initiative. The other one got a job because the girl at the counter thought she'd been called in for an interview. When the confusion was cleared up, he interviewed her anyway and she got the job.

 

I've never heard of anyone getting a callback from an online application. I'm sure it must happen, but it makes the job search feel like a roulette wheel.

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There's a summer jobs program here for kids. Pretty much all young people 14 and up can do the program. You make money based on your age (younger kids make less, older kids make more), but you can put it on a resume and get a job reference out of it, obviously. The city partners with private businesses, but the vast majority of jobs are with the city itself and the vast majority of those are with DPR (parks dept). Some of it is "make work." But a lot of it isn't - they hire an army of teens to run the summer pools, clean up the parks and do summer landscaping projects, and be support staff for the rec camps. And even some of the make work is kind of cool. They do mural projects and things like that.

 

I think it's kind of a cool program - it obviously allows today's youth to say a quintessentially DC thing - "Marion Barry got me my first job!" But I'll say... the reason this article cites for kids not having jobs is absolutely true for most families with teens that I know - nearly all of them do some sort of special program or schooling over the summer instead of getting a job. It's college application stuff.

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This seems to be another possibly unintentional method of gate keeping restricting the have nots from obtaining what they need. On this thread I'm hearing how we're helping our kids over these new hurdles or finding backdoor ways around them while kids without involved parents or who have less savvy adults in their lives go without jobs they may actually NEED, and not for padding a college application.

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When you are in a small town with few options and even those options prefer those that are 18+. 17 and occasionally 16yr olds, but only with parents signing permission slips (required here, where it didn't used to be, nor is it required elsewhere). All of this makes for teens without jobs. Oh, and insurance issues, where teens no longer may mow lawns or babysit without paying for certain classes (that are held in places where one needs a vehicle in order to take them).

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Some of them did for sure, but employers were definitely less diligent back then, ime.

 

 

How is this data obtained and defined? If it's something like "actively looking and have applied to at least 5 places in the last whatever" then it's probably not that accurate. Lots of teens don't apply because they know the places they can get to are 18+. I'm sure there are quite a few who aren't looking because they don't actually want a job, or their parents don't want them to have a job, but I'm not convinced it's 50%.

 

And the word "teens" limited to those who are actually old enough to work? As in get a work permit? Because 13/14 is going to skew that if not.

The data is on teens 16-19. It's unemployment statistics, so if teens don't apply out of discouragement, the numbers of unemployment may be somewhat higher. My speculation would be an additional 10% or so wish they could work but don't bother trying; on the other hand, we don't really mean 19 year olds when we talk about teen jobs, so the number of high school students wanting to work may actually be lower than 50%. I don't think submitting applications is a requirement for being counted for unemployment, but you have to at least browse postings. I think.

 

 

 

What has led to many employers not to need teens anymore? What has changed, so that there were plenty of jobs 10-20 years ago and not enough now? I guess the recession? The implication is that more adults are willing to do minimum-wage work, so teens are not needed. Are there just fewer jobs available now that are above that level? Even though the economy has mostly recovered? Maybe all the good jobs exported to other countries during the recession, or just became unprofitable and ended. I know construction has never recovered to pre-recession levels. (I like to try to understand economics, I'm not arguing any particular point.)

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Last year we were living in Evanston, which is Northwestern's college town. I was in a store with my daughters when the owner struck up a conversation with me about how difficult it was to keep a full staff. Apparently Northwestern discourages students from working outside of classes, so college students aren't the obvious pool of workers I imagined they were. Suddenly she brightened up, "How old are you?" she asked my 17yo. Sarah said she'd been looking for a job for a month but no one seems to want to hire her until 18. The owner was disappointed--she didn't hire until 18 either. That was a facepalm moment.

 

I live in E-town now. :)

 

That's true about NU. Their quarter system makes it difficult for kids to work a steady part-time job and study. Many of them sign up for piecemeal jobs on the JobCat Facebook page and work when time permits. NU also has many paid internship opportunities with businesses year round which draws students as well.

 

My son is at NU and works during the year. It's not easy to juggle everything but he loves his job as much as school so somehow it works. He wanted to add a TA position his junior year but he's just going to be too busy. One job is enough.

Edited by MBM

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Only 15% of teens looking for work can't find work. So 43% of teens are working, 7% are looking unsuccessfully, and 50% are not seeking employment. I'd guess that it's mostly the increasing demands of school and college application readiness. If you waste your chance to go to a good college so that you can make $5000 over the summer, that's financially stupid. But I'm pretty sure that immaturity, laziness and entitlement also play a part. Not all teens are busy and productive most of their days!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

What jobs can you do and earn $5000 in a summer?  You'd have to make above minimum wage and be guaranteed 40+ hours a week to earn that much.  Most jobs for teens earn minimum wage and are not full time.  And around here, you have to be available 24/7 for a crappy minimum wage job with no assurance of hours.  Schedules go out on Friday for the following week and no accommodating other commitments such as taking a class, dentist appointments, scholarship interviews, any extracurricular activities.  You get scheduled, if you can't find a sub ... "Too bad.  Show up or get fired."  All for maybe $100 a week, if you are lucky.  And, that is if you are over 18. 

 

Dd is not lazy by any stretch of the imagination.  She just earns money by babysitting because she has more control over her schedule and can have a life.  She is an in-demand baby sitter.  The things she is doing outside of babysitting will earn her much more in scholarship $$ than what she could earn at a "real job." 

 

The data is on teens 16-19. It's unemployment statistics, so if teens don't apply out of discouragement, the numbers of unemployment may be somewhat higher. My speculation would be an additional 10% or so wish they could work but don't bother trying; on the other hand, we don't really mean 19 year olds when we talk about teen jobs, so the number of high school students wanting to work may actually be lower than 50%. I don't think submitting applications is a requirement for being counted for unemployment, but you have to at least browse postings. I think.

 

 

 

What has led to many employers not to need teens anymore? What has changed, so that there were plenty of jobs 10-20 years ago and not enough now? I guess the recession? The implication is that more adults are willing to do minimum-wage work, so teens are not needed. Are there just fewer jobs available now that are above that level? Even though the economy has mostly recovered? Maybe all the good jobs exported to other countries during the recession, or just became unprofitable and ended. I know construction has never recovered to pre-recession levels. (I like to try to understand economics, I'm not arguing any particular point.)

I'm still unclear on how the statistics are determined.  Where are they getting their pool of teens for their sample? 

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Most jobs for teens earn minimum wage and are not full time.  And around here, you have to be available 24/7 for a crappy minimum wage job with no assurance of hours.  Schedules go out on Friday for the following week and no accommodating other commitments such as taking a class, dentist appointments, scholarship interviews, any extracurricular activities.  

 

We have a neighbor girl, a great 16 year old, responsible, smart etc., who was so excited this summer to get her first real outside-the-house job.  After many applications, she was finally hired by a well-known fast food chain.  She told them, she'd be happy to work up to 30 hours a week during the summer, and would try to reschedule her other activities around work.  In her first three weeks on the job, she's had 6 hours, 6 hours and 4 hours of work per week, with no prospect for any increases.

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We have a neighbor girl, a great 16 year old, responsible, smart etc., who was so excited this summer to get her first real outside-the-house job.  After many applications, she was finally hired by a well-known fast food chain.  She told them, she'd be happy to work up to 30 hours a week during the summer, and would try to reschedule her other activities around work.  In her first three weeks on the job, she's had 6 hours, 6 hours and 4 hours of work per week, with no prospect for any increases.

Yup.

 

And it is deliberate. Owners keep their costs lower by not having full time nor even half time workers. Many franchise owners also requires these hires to sign "non compete" clauses which prevents them for working for another fast food. This way they tie up workers for their competitors. It is dirty pool, and played often in this neck of the woods. Even the local Walmart has a "non compete" clause for part time workers to keep them from also working for the hardware store, or the lumber yard, or....

 

It is part and parcel of America becoming an oligarchy in which the worker gets no respect.

 

That said, living rural makes it extra tough because our car insurance goes up dramatically the more vehicles are classified as "commuting" vs. pleasure. So teens who have a job get charged more than teens that don't because the assumption is the teen without a job is logging less miles, therefore not as big of a risk statistically. The difference is DOUBLE! 10 hours at minimum wage, pay the government, then pay self does not cover both the insurance hike and the gas for the commute. People are putting the numbers together because they have to and while they'd like for their kids to have jobs, it doesn't make financial sense when money is tight because you are paying for your kid to work, going in the hole to do so. Some regions are a lot better off than ours obviously so it might be a better option than around here. We live in an area where the closest town - 2000 people - has 14 empty business buildings it can't sell and another business on its way out. The area farmers treat teens who work for them like crap unfortunately, and often put them in very dangerous situations because well, they don't value the kids at all. Sad to say, but very true for the local attitude. I allow my sons to "farm sit" for horse and fiber farms. I do not allow them to work for crop, dairy, and large livestock farms because of the attitude. The horse owners are always THRILLED to get quality horsemen to take care of their stock so when the boys can land those gigs, they make good money. Fiber farmers too as they need those that know how to work with llamas, alpacas, goats, and fiber sheep which is an entirely different enterprise from meat breeding.

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What has led to many employers not to need teens anymore? What has changed, so that there were plenty of jobs 10-20 years ago and not enough now? I guess the recession? 

 

I think there's a lot of surprising side-effects of all of our new information technology, that as a whole, tend to mean fewer opportunities for lower-skilled or entry-level workers.  Managers now have access to sophisticated scheduling software, and can more easily predict demand at their stores.  Combined with better communication tools, businesses can micro-manage their scheduling so that hourly employees have the fewest possible hours per week.  Grocery and other retail stores are pushing more customers to automated self-checkout lines.  Gas stations now operate with no attendants for long stretches of time. Online retail is way more efficient,  people-wise than local bricks and mortar.  When we get self-driving over-the-road trucks, the shock to our economy will be deep.

Edited by GGardner
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I think there's a lot of surprising side-effects of all of our new information technology, that as a whole, tend to mean fewer opportunities for lower-skilled or entry-level workers.  Managers now have access to sophisticate scheduling software, and can more easily predict demand at their stores.  Combined with better communication tools, businesses can micro-manage their scheduling so that hourly employees have the fewest possible hours per week.  Grocery and other retail stores are pushing more customers to automated self-checkout lines.  Gas Stations now operate with no attendants for long stretches of time. Online retail is way more efficient,  people-wise than local bricks and mortar.  When we get self-driving over-the-road trucks, the shock to our economy will be deep.

Agreed. Entry level work isn't what it used to be. The next generation will have to be a lot more tech savvy and well trained to get their foot in the employment door than they had to be in the previous generation.

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I've never heard of anyone getting a callback from an online application. I'm sure it must happen, but it makes the job search feel like a roulette wheel.

 

Single data point, but youngest got his Chick Fil A job on a callback from an online app - after going to the place and finding out he  had to apply online.  It can happen.  He was 16 or 17 at the time.

 

What has led to many employers not to need teens anymore? What has changed, so that there were plenty of jobs 10-20 years ago and not enough now?

 

Technology and changes in our world.  Online shopping, self check outs, and all sorts of automation have decreased the number of jobs (overall - per capita).  Those who had jobs (retail, factory lines, etc) lose them, they shift to what is left.

 

This spiral is only going to continue IMO.  This is why folks need to be competitive for jobs to start with and why our nation might have to think about options for safety nets (minimum income, etc) when there truly aren't enough jobs for those who want them.  As it is, salaries (except at the tippy top) haven't increased while inflation has.  Why should they?  Supply and demand...  There are folks I know who work 2 or 3 jobs just to make basic needs.  Their living paycheck to paycheck certainly isn't because they are lazy... their wages are similar to 30 years ago, but prices like rent and food have gone up.

 

One other thought to all... my kids have made more per hour tutoring than essentially any other job they could get.  They may tutor academic subjects or teach various folks - esp the older generation - how to use computers, cell phones, kindles, etc.  Middle son was making up to $80/hour for some of his jobs... and his schedule was full with more folks wanting him.  It sort of made us wonder why he wanted med school... but that's a calling for him, not a job (at this point in his life).  Oldest has made $60-90/hour doing technology tutoring - he's also working in this field.  Youngest gets $25-30/hour because he doesn't want to charge more - considers it gauging.

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